Friday, January 25, 2008

Getting a Grip on Sausages.

January 25

Virginia Woolf the English writer was born on this day in 1882. She was born into a family that had wealth, social standing, and a rich intellectual and literary life. She became famous as a novelist, slightly infamous as a member of the ‘Bloomsbury Group, and ultimately she became a tragic story herself.

In addition to her published, public, writing, Woolf kept a journal. Early in World War II, on March 8, 1941 she wrote:

“And now with some pleasure I find that it’s seven; and must cook dinner. Haddock and sausage meat. I think it is true that one gains a certain hold on sausage and haddock by writing them down.”

Less than three weeks later, on March 28, fearful of the return of the mental illness which had plagued her all her life, she loaded up her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the river Ouse near her Sussex home.

There are many references to food in Virginia Woolf’s diaries, and it is clear that it was one of the pleasures in her life. Even though she noted the pleasant anticipation of cooking her wartime dinner, perhaps her diary entry also tells of her awareness of her fragile hold on day to day things. Or perhaps it was a writer’s awareness that writing about it is a way of getting a grip on any subject at all.

I give you a wartime sausage-meat recipe, from Ministry of Food Facts Leaflets produced in 1941.

Meat Roll.
(Mrs. L. Harbourne)
First of all, soak a large slice of bread in milk. Now mix together ¼ lb minced veal, ¼ lb. minced beef, ¼ lb. sausage meat and a few minced bacon pieces. Add to them a small onion or one or two spring onions (if you can get them) sliced finely, a grated raw potato and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the milk out of the slice of bread and mash the bread into the meat mixture. If you can spare it, bind the mixture with a small beaten egg; otherwise use the milk in which the bread was soaked. If necessary, add enough white breadcrumbs to make the mixture firm enough to shape into a roll. Sprinkle thickly with brown breadcrumbs or medium oatmeal that has been toasted in an oven, put into a greased baking tin, cover with butter or margarine paper, and bake in good oven for an hour.
This roll can be served hot or cold. It looks most attractive when decorated with strips of anchovy or some sliced, cooked carrot sprinkled with a little chopped parsley.

Monday’s Story …

On Coconuts.

Quotation for the Day …

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. Virginia Woolf, ‘A room of one’s own.’


Cakespy said...

Mmm, sounds like good hearty fare! I love the thought of Miss Virginia having a good moment with some of these. Nice writeup!

Anonymous said...

I haven't left a comment for a while... but, I did want to let you know that I took your advice and started my own blog!

Thank you very much for the encouragement, I'm loving it.

Your posts continue to inspire and inform me. I really do admire the work you put into them, especially now I'm writing my own.

Happy Australia Day


The Old Foodie said...

Hi sweetrosie - well done! you are now in my feedreader, so I can keep up to date with your posts.